Compare Cipro vs. Keflex

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Cipro
(ciprofloxacin)

Keflex
(cephalexin)

Kills bacteria. Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is a good and cheap antibiotic to treat many types of bacterial infections. However, you have to reduce your caffeine intake, and have to protect yourself from the sun.Treats bacterial infections. Keflex (cephalexin) is good for treating many bacterial infections, and is available as a generic.
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Coupons for Cipro
Best available price for 20 (500mg) tablets of ciprofloxacin
Coupons for Keflex
Best available price for 40 (500mg) capsules of keflex
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.17Cipro
Reviews for Cipro
63%
of people (All ages) say Cipro is worth it
53%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
755 reviews
Have you used Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Keflex
64%
-1% worse vs. Cipro
48%
+5% better vs. Cipro
14%
-3% worse vs. Cipro
686 reviews
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CiproKeflex
  • Any musculosketal side effect 14%
  • Any side effect 41%
  • Any musculoskeletal side effect 9%
  • Any neurological side effect 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Any gastrointestinal side effect 15%
  • Any serious side effect 8%
  • Vomiting 5%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
More Cipro side effects »

The Keflex FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Keflex side effects »
How it works
CiproKeflex
Cipro (Ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Keflex (cephalexin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
CiproKeflex
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
CiproKeflex
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Infusion (iv)
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
CiproKeflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
CiproKeflex
  • Over 60 years of age
  • On long-term steroid use
  • Heart, kidney, or lung transplant
  • Myasthenia gravis
Detailed Cipro (ciprofloxacin) risks & warnings »
  • Weakened immune system
  • Not taking Keflex (cephalexin) correctly
  • History of penicillin or cephalosporin allergies
Detailed Keflex (cephalexin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Food
CiproKeflex
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Can take with or without food.
Pain
CiproKeflex
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • If you notice redness/inflammation, pain or swelling in your joints or muscles, especially in the Achilles tendon, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Talk to your doctor immediately if you start to feel burning, tingling, numbness, pain or you can't tolerate heat or cold. This could be a sign of nerve damage and it can happen as soon as you start taking the medication and may not go away if you stop it.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
CiproKeflex
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Generally few side effects compared with other antibiotics.
Downsides and risks
CiproKeflex
  • Must be used with caution in people over 60 years of age, or who have had either an organ transplant or on long-term steroid use due to possible tendon rupture.
  • If you have caffeine while on Ciprofloxacin, you may noticed increased effects of the caffeine.
  • Ciprofloxacin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
  • Can't be used if you've ever had myasthenia gravis.
  • Can cause diarrhea.
  • Can cause diarrhea.
  • You may need to take Keflex (cephalexin) 2 to 4 times a day, which can be hard to remember.
  • If you're allergic to penicillins or other antibiotics, you might not be able to take this medicine.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
CiproKeflex
  • If you notice pain in your Achilles tendons, contact your doctor.
  • Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun.
  • Take the medication exactly how the doctor tells you to.
  • Avoid taking this by itself with dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) or with juice with calcium.
  • Take this medication at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after any antacids with magnesium or aluminum or with any vitamins with calcium, iron or zinc.
  • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
  • Limit your caffeine intake while taking this medication.
  • Finish all of the medicine your doctor gives you, even if you start to feel better. Stopping it early can cause the bacteria to develop resistance.
  • Store the suspension in the refrigerator. Shake well before using, and discard the bottle after 14 days.
  • Can take with or without food.
Learn more
More about CiproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about KeflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it